Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Let Him Go
This past Sunday, five out of our seven children were ill with a highly contagious stomach bug. Because we didn't know if our 2 healthy children were carrying this "disease" and just waiting to come down with it, Eric was the only one who made it to church.
That's right - I was home. Alone. for the SEVENTH day in a row with ALL of the children. I don't point that out for sympathy - I have a point to make. Really.
Shortly before Eric left, things got a bit chaotic and the kids got whiny (an odd occurrence around here, I assure you. *ahem*). I doubted whether or not I could really do this as I was also feeling a bit ill. Eric asked me if I wanted him to stay home. I realized then I had a choice to make.
1) Say "YES!!!!!!! Please stay home!!!" This was what my flesh wanted to say. I mean, really - we're in church all the time. What would 1 Sunday matter if we all just stayed together as a family? I work hard, too. Why should I have to bear the burden of sick children alone? (Ok, never mind the fact that he made breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day).
2) Get things under control and peaceful so that my husband could go to church without hesitation.
I opted for choice #2. By God's grace alone. Well, maybe there was a bit of selfishness involved. You see, I learned long ago that it benefits the entire family if its head is able to get spiritually filled. If Eric gets something from the Lord and some words of encouragement from the brethren, he is able to bring that encouragement, peace, and wisdom home to his family.
The same mindset goes toward our church's annual "Men's Meeting" (retreat) and monthly "Men's Prayer Meetings." Back in the day, the annual Men's Meeting was 3 days long. Eric would leave early Thursday morning and return Saturday evening. I hated to see him go. Not because I was dreading to have sole responsibility for my children (though there were times) - but because he's my best friend and I hate it when he's away. I would cry as he drove away. As much as I wanted him to stay with me, I wanted him to go commune with God and fellowship with his Christian brothers more. The time he spent in prayer for his family and for his church only blessed us. The few days we "sacrificed" his presence was worth the spirit of blessing in our home for months on end.
Saturday night men's prayer meeting - it's NOT convenient for me to have my husband leave just after dinner time to go to church. This leaves clean-up, bath time, and bedtime completely up to me. But, he's being filled. He is the leader of our home and that is a huge responsibility that is absolutely impossible without uninterrupted concentrated prayer. The Bible says, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." What could be better for our family than a room full of men united in prayer for us (as well as their families)? What could be better for our church than these men joining hearts and prayers for our people and pastors? I would be a crazy woman to hinder my husband from going to be spiritually rejuvinated.
Just so you know - my husband makes it possible for me to have these same opportunities. I am among the first to sign up for our Women's Meetings and he will often stay home with sick children so that I may go and hear the Word of God preached as well. I am thankful for his consideration.
Why do I write this? Because it grieves my heart to see how many women rob their husbands and families of tremendous blessing in the name of neediness. "Can't my husband just pray at home?" "I'm tired - I just can't do it without him." "Our children need daddy home." And on and on it goes. There are times when the man may have to stay home - but those times should be few and far between. We are to be our husband's helpmeet. It is our responsibility to aide him in growing in his role as spiritual leader.
So, a word to the wise wife - instead of clinging to your husband as a needy child, let him go. Give him a kiss and tell him you'll see him when he gets home. You will be blessed.